Places Discussed

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*London. In the early twentieth century, London was the center of world commerce and the leading city of the democratic societies. However, for all its importance to world democracies, London was home to the British Empire and organized into a rigid class system, which permitted no crossing of boundaries. One of the chief means of enforcing such a system was categorizing people according to their language patterns. Pygmalion is about how a guttersnipe, Eliza Doolittle, overcomes the English class system by exchanging her Cockney accent for an upper-class English one with the help of linguistics expert Henry Higgins. During the course of the lessons, they fall in love with each other, but Higgins is never able to escape his own class sufficiently to reciprocate Eliza’s love.

*St. Paul’s Cathedral

*St. Paul’s Cathedral. Magnificent late seventeenth century church located located in Covent Garden, London’s entertainment and market district. St. Paul’s portico, at the entrance to the building, is a place where the different classes are permitted to mingle. There, Eliza encounters Higgins and decides to accept the challenge of changing her speech patterns.

27A Wimpole Street

27A Wimpole Street. Address of Henry Higgins’s Covent Garden home and speech laboratory, located in an upscale area. It comes to represent the place of learning where Eliza is reborn as a “lady,” with an entirely new habit of speech. Higgins assumes that Eliza will never leave Wimpole Street, but to his surprise she does leave him to marry a young man from fashionable Earls Court, the final proof of her transformation.

Mrs. Higgins’s home

Mrs. Higgins’s home. As a test of her new social skills, Higgins brings Eliza to his mother’s home in exclusive Chelsea. There, Eliza meets the Eynsford Hills, who, although poor, are nevertheless members of the upper crust residing in Earl’s Court. Freddy Eynsford Hill falls in love with her almost immediately. Mrs. Higgins’s home is also where Eliza passes her first test in a new social setting and where she ultimately rejects Higgins.

Historical Context

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World War I Nineteen-fourteen, the year of Pygmalion's London premiere, marked tremendous changes in British society. On July 28, the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, setting off an international conflict due to a complicated set of alliances which had developed in Europe. Within two weeks, this conflict had erupted into a world war (known in Britain at the time as the "Great War"). By the end of World War I (as it came to be known later), 8.5 million people had been killed and 21 million wounded, including significant civilian casualties. The war constituted the most intense physical, economic and psychological assault on European society in its history; Britain was not alone in experiencing devastating effects on its national morale and other aspects of society.

It is ironic, Eldon C. Hill wrote in George Bernard Shaw, that Pygmalion , "written partly to demonstrate that language (phonetics particularly) could contribute to understanding among men, should be closed because of the outbreak of World War I." The war brought out Shaw's compassion, as well as his disgust with the European societies that would tolerate the destruction of so many lives. When the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell informed Shaw of the death of her son in battle, he replied that he could not be sympathetic, but only furious: "Killed just because people are blasted fools," Hill quoted the playwright saying. To Shaw, the war only demonstrated more clearly the need for human advancement on an individual and social level,...

(This entire section contains 1150 words.)

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to reach a level of understanding that would prevent such tragic devastation.

Colonialism and the British Empire In 1914 Great Britain was very much still a colonial power, but while victory in the First World War actually increased the size of the British Empire, the war itself simultaneously accelerated the development of nationalism and autonomy in the provinces. Even before the war, British pride in its Empire had reached a climax prior to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and the brutalities of the Boer War (1899-1902), fought to assert Britain's authority in South Africa. Still, British society proudly proclaimed that "the sun never sets on the British Empire'' and believed in Britain's providential mission in geographies as widely diverse as Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, India, Burma, Egypt, the Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, and numerous other islands throughout the Caribbean, and Canada.

In addition to providing a symbolic unity to the Empire, the long reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) also gave coherence to British society at home, through a set of values known as Victorianism. Victorian values revolved around social high-mindedness (a Christian sense of charity and service), domesticity (most education and entertainment occurred in the home, but children, who "should be seen and not heard,'' were reared with a strict hand) and a confidence in the expansion of knowledge and the power of reasoned argument to change society. By the time of Victoria's death, many of the more traditional mid-Victorian values were already being challenged, as was the class structure upon which many of these values depended. Victorianism, however, survived in a modified form through the reign of Victoria's son, Edward. 1914, the year of Pygmalion and the onset of the Great War, constituted a much different kind of break, symbolic and social.

Industrialization The growth of industrialization throughout the nineteenth century had a tremendous impact on the organization of British society, which had (much more so than the United States) a tradition of a landed aristocracy and a more hierarchical class system—a pyramid of descending ranks and degrees. Allowing for the growth of a merchant middle class, industrialization changed British society into a plutocracy—an aristocracy of money more than land. Social mobility, however, still did not widely extend into the lower classes, propagating a lack of opportunity reflected in Liza's anxiety over what is to happen to her following Higgins's experiment.

Industrialization brought about a demographic shift throughout the nineteenth century, with more and more agricultural laborers coming to seek work in the cities. Unskilled laborers like the Doolittles competed for limited employment amid the poverty of the inner city and were largely at the mercy of employers. Increased health standards combated urban crises like tuberculosis and cholera, but slum conditions and rampant urban poverty remained a major social problem after the turn of the century. Pygmalion suggests the subjectivity of class identity, and the rapid deterioration of many pre-industrial social structures, but strict class distinctions of another kind nevertheless persisted. This fact is suggested by the severely disproportionate distribution of wealth in Britain at the time: during the years 1911-1913, the top 1% of the population controlled 65.5% of the nation's capital. The poorest of the poor, meanwhile, were often forced into workhouses, institutions which had been developed in the 17th century to employ paupers and the indigent at profitable work. Conditions in the workhouses differed little from prisons; they were deliberately harsh and degrading in order to discourage the poor from relying upon them. Conditions in the workhouses improved later in the 19th century but were still unpleasant enough that fear of going to one, for example, causes Doolittle in Pygmalion to accept his new position in the middle class even though it is displeasing to him for other reasons.

The Rise of Women and the Working Classes During the decade which produced Pygmalion, the political power of the working class increased greatly, through massive increases in trade union membership. Bitter class divisions gave rise to waves of strikes and disturbances, including a major railway strike in 1911, a national miners' strike in 1912, and the "Triple Alliance'' of miners, railway, and transport workers in 1914. A new political party, Labour, came into existence in 1893, advancing an eight-hour work day and other workplace reforms. Meanwhile, reforms to laws concerning suffrage, the right to vote, further brought men (and later, women) of the working class into Britain's ever-more participatory democracy. Suffrage (the right to vote) had in Britain always been based on requirements of property ownership, reflecting the contemporary idea that only landowners were considered reasoned and informed enough to vote but also that they would do so in the best interest of those in the classes below them. These property requirements were gradually relaxed throughout the nineteenth century, gradually increasing the size of the male electorate.

Only after many years of political struggle by organizations of women known as "suffragettes" did women achieve the right to vote: first in 1918 for women over 30 who also met a requirement of property ownership, then extended in 1928 to all women over the age of 21 (as was already the case for men). Increased political participation further prompted a shift in sex roles: British society had already noted the phenomenon of "the new woman," and was to see further changes such as increasing numbers of women in the work force, as well as reforms to divorce laws and other impacts upon domestic life.

Literary Style

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Plotting with a Purpose In Pygmalion's plot, Higgins, a phonetics expert, makes a friendly bet with his colleague Colonel Pickering that he can transform the speech and manners of Liza, a common flower girl, and present her as a lady to fashionable society. He succeeds, but Liza gains independence in the process, and leaves her former tutor because he is incapable of responding to her needs.

Pygmalion has a tightly-constructed plot, rising conflict, and other qualities of the "well-made play," a popular form at the time. Shaw, however, revolutionized the English stage by disposing of other conventions of the well-made play; he discarded its theatrical dependence on prolonging and then resolving conflict in a sometimes contrived manner for a theater of ideas grounded in realism. Shaw was greatly influenced by Henrik Ibsen, who he claimed as a forerunner to his theatre of discussion or ideas. Ibsen's A Doll House, Shaw felt, was an example of how to end a play indeterminately, leading the audience to reflect upon character and theme, rather than simply entertaining them with a neatly-resolved conclusion.

Intellect vs. Entertainment Shaw broke both with the predominant intellectual principle of his day, that of "art for art's sake," as well as with the popular notion that the purpose of the theatre was strictly to entertain. Refusing to write a single sentence for the sake of either art or entertainment alone, Shaw openly declared that he was for a theater which preached to its audience on social issues. Edward Wagenknecht wrote in A Guide to Bernard Shaw that Shaw's plays "are not plays: they are tracts in dramatic form." He further reflected a popular perception of Shaw's plays as intellectual exercises by stating that Shaw "has created one great character—G.B.S. [George Bernard Shaw]—and in play after play he performs infinite variations upon it." Thus, in his day Shaw was viewed as succeeding despite his dramatic technique rather than because of it. Wagenknecht again: "it is amazing that a man whose theory of art is so patently wrong should have achieved such a place as Shaw has won."

Though his plays do tend towards ideological discussion rather than dramatic tension, Shaw succeeded because he nevertheless understood what made a play theatrical, wrote scintillating dialogue, and always created rich, complex characters in the center of a philosophically complex drama. Among his character creations are some of the greatest in the modern theatre, especially the women: Major Barbara, Saint Joan, Liza Doolittle. Also, Shaw's deep belief in the need for social improvement did not prevent him from having a wry sense of humor, an additional component of his dramatic technique which helped his plays, Pygmalion most predominantly, bridge a gap between popular and intellectual art.

Romance In calling Pygmalion a romance (its subtitle is "A Romance in Five Acts"), Shaw was referencing a well-established literary form (not usually employed in theatre), to which Pygmalion does not fully conform. (Shaw was aiming to provoke thought by designating his play thusly.) The term romance does not imply, as it was misinterpreted to mean by many of Shaw's contemporaries, a romantic element between Liza and Higgins. Since the middle ages, romances have been distinguished from more realistic forms by their exotic, exaggerated narratives, and their idealized characters and themes. Shaw playfully suggests Pygmalion is a romance because of the almost magical transformations which occur in the play and the idealized qualities to which the characters aspire.

Compare and Contrast

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1910s: Women in Britain do not have the right to vote, and their opportunities for education and employment remain limited.

Today: Since 1928, all women over the age of 21 have had the right to vote in Britain. The direct participation of women in government continues to be more limited than that of men, although the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1979 set an important precedent. Women were admitted to full admission at Oxford in 1920 and to Cambridge University in 1948. Women make up a much larger portion of the work force than they did at the turn of the century, and although their compensation and employment opportunities continue to lag behind those of men, the Equal Pay Act of 1970 and other measures have addressed this issue. It is no longer the case that a woman's natural role is widely assumed to be limited to domestic work.

1910s: With industrialization and legislative reform beginning a process of diversification, Britain's society is still rigidly hierarchical, with a tradition of a landed aristocracy and a pyramid of descending ranks and degrees. In 1911, the power of the royally-appointed House of Lords in Parliament to veto the legislation of the democratically-elected House of Commons is reduced to a power to delay legislation.

Today: The political power of royalty and the nobility has been greatly reduced through a process of legislative reform. While titles of nobility remain, Britain's society remains stratified primarily by wealth rather than rank. While the middle class grew considerably throughout the century and there was significant growth in economic indicators such as owner-occupation of homes, sharp divisions between rich and poor persist in Britain. With the growth of the technical institutes, the "polytechnics," the expansion of the university system after World War II greatly increased opportunities for higher education in the country.

1910s: Despite the promotion of a standard "Queen's English," beginning in the Victorian era, the British Isles—even London itself—is marked by a wide diversity of spoken English. The diversity of British population (including its varieties of English) was further shaped by large-scale immigration, by Irish beginning in the 1830s, Germans in the 1840s, Scandinavians in the 1870s, and Eastern Europeans in the 1880s.

Today: The diversity of English culture—especially in London and the major cities—has been further increased, along with the diversity of English dialects, by twentieth-century immigration from Britain's colonies and former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent, and the Far East.

1910s: Europe is devastated by the 8.5 million dead and 21 million wounded in "the Great War'' (World War I), including unprecedented levels of civilian casualties. Britain was not alone in experiencing the most intense physical, economic, and psychological assault in its history.

Today: The specter of civilian death leads to a realization that modern warfare potentially endangers the future of the entire nation. This feeling has been accentuated since the end of World War II by the threat of nuclear destruction. Much more so than at the beginning of the century, citizens have come to perceive war and the necessity of avoiding it as their business, and they often try to impact their government's policies to this end. Shaw's position against war, still somewhat radical in his day, has become much more common.

Media Adaptations

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Pygmalion was adapted as a film produced by Gabriel Pascal, directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, starring Howard and Wendy Hiller; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1938. The film received Academy Awards for Shaw's screenplay and for the adaptation by Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Lewis, and W. P. Lipscomb.

Pygmalion was also filmed for American television, directed by George Schaefer for the Hallmark Hall of Fame series, starring Julie Harris and James Donald, adapted by Robert Hartung; Compass, 1963.

The play has also been produced in audio recordings. In 1972 Peter Wood directed a recording starring Michael Redgrave, Donald Pleasence, and Lynn Redgrave (Caedmon TRS 354). In 1974, the play was recorded in association with the British Council, starring Alec McCowen and Diana Rigg (Argo SAY 28).

Pygmalion was also adapted into the musical My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. An original cast recording was released in 1959, starring Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, and Stanley Holloway (CK 2015 Columbia).

My Fair Lady was made into a film in 1964, produced by Jack L. Warner and directed by George Cukor, starring Audrey Hepburn as Liza with Rex Harrison reprising his stage role of Higgins. The film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards and received eight. It is considered a film classic in the musical genre.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Sources Berst, Charles A. Bernard Shaw and the Art of Drama, University of Illinois Press (Urbana), 1973, pp. 197-218.

Further Reading Bentley, Eric, Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, amended edition, New Directions, 1957. Though Bentley's book (originally published in 1947) is not adulatory, Shaw considered it "the best book written about himself as a dramatist.'' Bentley states that his double intention in the book is "to disentangle a credible man and artist from the mass of myth that surrounds him, and to discover the complex component parts of his 'simplicity.'" Pygmalion is discussed in detail, pages 119-126, and elsewhere in the book.

Crane, Milton. "Pygmalion: Bernard Shaw's Dramatic Theory and Practice" in Publications of the Modern Language Association, Vol. 66, no 6, December, 1951, pp. 879-85. Crane begins with the question of whether Shaw was old-fashioned in his approach to drama or innovative. Wrapped up in this issue is the figure of Ibsen, who Shaw declared was revolutionary for giving his plays indeterminate endings and concluding with "discussion," rather than the clear unraveling of a dramatic situation in the "well-made play"—the popular form of the day. Crane demonstrates that Ibsen did not present a new innovation so much as modify earlier forms and claims that something similar holds true for Shaw as well. Although Shaw denied his audience a romantic ending in Pygmalion, Crane does not feel it is true of the playwright what many have said, "that he is primarily a thinker, who chose for rhetorical reasons to cast his ideas in dramatic form." Rather than viewing his characters abstractly, as means to a rhetorical end, Shaw was passionately invested in their lives and destinies, which highlights a basic "conventionality" in his technique.

Dukore, Bernard F. "The Director As Interpreter: Shaw's Pygmalion" in Shaw, Vol. 3, 1983, pp. 129-47. A three-part article analyzing, first, "Shaw's concept of the question of directorial interpretation"; then his own directorial interpretation of Pygmalion (in the London premiere and several subsequent productions); and finally, the revisions he made to Pygmalion as a result of the experience of directing the play. Dukore shows the careful separation Shaw maintained between "Playwright Shaw" and "Director Shaw": rather than explain to his actors the ideas in his play in a literary manner, Shaw was able to help them in very practical terms to develop their performances. Often these actors led him to new insights about his own characters. "While he recognized that there are a variety of appropriate ways to interpret any well-written role," however, Shaw also "rejected what he considered inappropriate interpretations."

Evans, T. R., editor. Shaw: The Critical Heritage, Routledge & Kegan Paul (London), 1976. An extremely useful collection of 135 contemporary writings on Shaw's plays: reviews, essays, letters, and other sources. Arranged roughly in chronological order and grouped by play, the items "give a continuing picture of the changing and developing reaction to Shaw's dramatic work." Pygmalion is covered on pages 223-29.

Harvey, Robert C. "How Shavian is the Pygmalion We Teach?" in English Journal, Vol. 59, 1970, pp. 1234-38. This article by a former high school English teacher begins with the observation that while Shaw lived, he absolutely refused to let his plays be published in school textbooks: "My plays were not designed as instruments of torture," he wittily commented. Harvey recognizes that despite the wishes of the playwright, there are definite values to students reading his work in a school setting. Too often, however, the work is taught to support grammar lessons, with the message that like Liza, students can succeed if they learn to speak "correctly." Harvey affirms that the real value of the piece for students is in trying to grasp its literary complexity. If anything, the play should show students "the social importance of all varieties of language ... the equality of every dialect," rather than being used "to forge the very chains [Shaw] wrote the play to break."

Henderson, Archibald. George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century, Appleton-Century-Crofts (New York), 1956. A final, culminating book by Shaw's "official" biographer, incorporating much material from his previous works. Henderson studied Shaw first-hand and wrote on him for over fifty years.

Hill, Eldon C. George Bernard Shaw, Twayne (Boston), 1978. A biography and critical study intended not for the Shaw specialist but for the general reader "who seeks an understanding of Shaw's life and work." Pygmalion is discussed in detail, pages 118-21.

Huggett, Richard. The Truth about Pygmalion, Heinemann (London), 1969. Focusing predominantly on Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the actress who created Liza for the London premiere, this study is the result of three years of research into the play and its performances.

Kaufman, R. J., editor. G B. Shaw: A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1965. While none of the essays examines Pygmalion exclusively, the topics of these compiled studies overlap extensively with issues in that particular play. Notable contributions include a short, provocative piece by Bertolt Brecht, showing Shaw's influence on his work. Brecht states of Shaw's view towards society, "it should be clear by now that Shaw is a terrorist. The Shavian terror is an unusual one, and he employs an unusual weapon—that of humor." In his article "Born to Set It Right. The Roots of Shaw's Style," Richard M. Ohmann investigates the development of Shaw's position as a social outsider, "the critic of things as they are.'' Eric Bentley' s "The Making of a Dramatist" examines the formative years 1892-1903 in Shaw's life.

MacCarthy, Desmond. Shaw. The Plays, Newton Abbott, 1951. Originally published as a series of essays from 1907 to 1950, this book offers a unique chance to trace the development of a particular perspective on Shaw's long and prolific career. Pygmalion is discussed in detail, pages 108-13.

Miller, Jane M. "Some Versions of Pygmalion" in Ovid Renewed: Ovidian Influences on Literature and Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, edited by Charles Martindale, Cambridge University Press, 1988. A study of Ovid's version of the Pygmalion myth (including possible antecedents for it), and its influence on later works, Miller stresses the sexual implications of the Pygmalion-Galatea relationship in Ovid's story (which suggest possible consequences for Shaw's version). Miller states that the various versions of Pygmalion tend in general to be of two types: historical, which depict a social transformation and which usually contain "an element of social comment" (she places Shaw's Pygmalion in this category); and mystical, which explore "love as a divine experience." Miller suggests Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale as an early example of the "mystical" interpretation but comments that the form abounded in the nineteenth century in particular. Miller concludes that the "historicist" versions of Pygmalion, Shaw's included, "are interesting products of their time but lack the vitality of the Ovidian original."

Muggleston, Lynda. "Shaw, Subjective Inequality, and the Social Meanings of Language in Pygmalion" in Review of English Studies: A Quarterly Journal of English Literature and the English Language, Vol. 44, no. 175, August, 1993, pp. 373-85. A detailed study of the social importance of Pygmalion's, exploration of accent and pronunciation as determiners "not only of social status but also of social acceptability." Although difficult only in places for readers not familiar with some linguistic vocabulary, the article's central argument is easily grasped, that Shaw rebelled against the idea that there was something inherently better about people of the upper classes and therefore demonstrated that social judgments of a person's merit depend on superficial, subjective qualities (like proper speech). Pygmalion is a "paradigm of social mobility," illustrating that social transformation is possible, and "a paean to inherent equality," suggesting that a person's merit is distinct and separate from one's level of social acceptability.

Quinn, Martin. "The Informing Presence of Charles Dickens in Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion" in the Dickensian, Vol. 80, no. 3, Autumn, 1984, pp. 144-50. This article traces a number of connections between Pygmalion and various works of Dickens, who Quinn states "entered Shaw's life early and completely and was thereafter always at his fingertips when not on the tip of his tongue." Quinn shows that Dickens was specifically on Shaw's mind when writing Pygmalion in 1912, because he was completing at the same time an introduction to Dickens's novelHard Times. The influence of Dickens was "pervasive" throughout Shaw's career, however. The value of Quinn's article is in documenting the exhaustive reading of "[a]n intellect as comprehensive as Shaw's," and inserting the name of Dickens, a novelist, among the list of dramatic artists considered to be Shaw's major influences: Shakespeare, Moliere, and Ibsen.

Shaw Bulletin, Shaw Review, Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, the Shavian. Publications of the Shaw Society of America (The Shaw Bulletin, 1952-1958; Shaw Review, 1951-1980; and the Shaw annual, 1981-present) and the Shaw Society, London (the Shavian, 1953-present). These journals have published extensively on all topics related to Shaw's work; check their title and subject indexes for further information.

Small, Barbara J. "Shaw on Standard Stage Speech" in Shaw Review, Vol. 22, 1979, pp. 106-13. A short but enlightening study of Shaw's interest in diction and stage speech. Not entirely about Pygmalion, but its references to that play suggest the close relationship between Higgins and Shaw's own ideals of spoken speech. "Shaw was preoccupied with the dearth of good standard speech on the English stage,'' Small wrote "Good diction was, for Shaw, associated with fine acting." Shaw did not blame individuals for their poor pronunciation; in his preface to Pygmalion, for example, he decries the problems stemming from English not being a language with phonetic spellings of words. These larger issues Shaw addressed through a phonetic system of his own devising, and other means, but regarding individual persons what Shaw hated most was pretension. "An honest slum dialect'' was preferable to him "than the attempts of phonetically untaught persons to imitate the plutocracy."

Wagenknecht, Edward. A Guide to Bernard Shaw, Russell & Russell (New York), 1929. A study written while Shaw was alive and at the peak of his career (he had won the Nobel Prize only a few years previously). Wagenknecht wrote that the purpose of his book is expository rather than critical: that is, "to gather together... all the information which, in my judgment, the student or general reader needs to have in mind in order to read Shaw's plays intelligently." As a study, it has largely been superseded by other later works, but it remains an important historical document.


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Berst, Charles A. “Pygmalion”: Shaw’s Spin on Myth and Cinderella. New York: Twayne, 1995. An excellent source for students that examines the literary and historical contexts of the play and provides an intelligent and thorough interpretation tracing Eliza’s transformation into a woman and lady. Focuses on Shaw’s use of the Pygmalion myth and the Cinderella fairy tale.

Bloom, Harold, ed. George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” New York: Chelsea House, 1988. A judicious selection of eight critical essays that represent major interpretations of the play. In his introduction, Bloom argues that Pygmalion is Shaw’s masterpiece. Excellent for students.

Hornby, Richard. “Beyond the Verbal in Pygmalion.” In Shaw’s Plays in Performance, edited by Daniel Leary. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1983. Examines Shaw’s stagecraft and the performance qualities inherent in the play as a script. Goes beyond “the purely verbal or literary” qualities of the play to show how the visual and aural elements convey meaning.

Huggett, Richard. The Truth About “Pygmalion.” New York: Random House, 1969. A fascinating narrative account of the original 1914 London production, in which “three of the most monstrous egoists the theatre ever produced” participated: actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, who played Eliza; actor Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, who played Higgins; and Shaw himself.

Silver, Arnold. Bernard Shaw: The Darker Side. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1982. A major part of this challenging and unconventional book on Shaw is a very thorough and complex psychological interpretation of Pygmalion that shows Shaw working out intense personal conflicts. Fascinating materials for more advanced students.




Critical Essays